Bye-bye Merkel

Angela Merkel officially retired from the office of chancellor on Thursday. Her departure was marked with official military ceremony. The CDU politician had governed Germany since November 2005 and shaped many important decisions at the European level. The reviews in Europe's press are mixed.

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Sme (SK) /

No worthy replacement in sight

Sme bids farewell to the outgoing chancellor with regret:

“It would be misleading to write that the most influential and important European woman politician of the 21st century is taking her leave. In terms of influence and importance, there was no one who could hold a candle to Angela Merkel, even among the men. She leaves a big gap that neither her successor Scholz nor Macron, should he be re-elected, nor anyone else can fill. ... Perhaps in the end even those who never wanted to forgive her for her slogan 'We can do it', the energy transition or the way she resolved the financial crisis will have good memories of her.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Too complacent

Merkel should not be glorified upon her departure, The Daily Telegraph insists:

“Thanks to her government's litany of unforced errors and breathtaking complacency, not only has she turned her once dominant conservative party into a shadow of its former self, handing power to a Left-wing coalition dominated by socialists and greens, she leaves behind a country and a continent acutely vulnerable to the authoritarian regimes on its doorstep. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of Nord Stream 2. ... The defence of western values demands leaders who are clear-eyed about the threats we face and are prepared to act to deter our enemies. Tragically for Germany and the West, Mrs Merkel has been neither.”

Radio Kommersant FM (RU) /

The time for compromises is over

Kommersant FM radio reaffirms that Merkel's departure marks the end of an era:

“The era of political compromise is now a thing of the past. The world is getting ever tougher. ... If Merkel is leaving now it's also because such schemes no longer function properly. ... With regard to Russia, the Minsk Protocol is a good example: it is a brainchild of the outgoing chancellor. It played an important role and ended the hot phase of the war, but since then the situation has become frozen. While there are calls to heed it, they have not been heeded for a long time. Another big compromise project is Nord Stream 2: completed yes, operating no.”